2007 and Prior

The music is absolutely enthralling and goes deep into the roots of popular music… –The Archer, East Finchley, London.

What makes the Groanbox Boys unique and might explain their success is their distinct instrumentation… -Amandine Surier, Martha’s Vineyard Times.

What a revelation The Groanbox Boys proved to be last Tuesday! In my humble opinion they were one of the best acts we’ve had at the club in a long time…..and boy that’s saying something. Several people turned their noses up when I said this was an accordion led duo…..but it simply worked…..wonderful vocal harmonies, unusual arrangements but beautifully played and a real old mix of stuff…..from almost Parisian Jazz to deep Mississippi Blues detouring to The Appalachians on the way. -John Adams, The Bottleneck Blues Club.

Dig underneath the fingernail of modern popular music and you get to the quick. There – in the raw, living, tissue – is where you’ll find the Groanbox Boys. It’s not a show. It’s life. – Ben Chu, The Independent.

An excellent release that brings us the world of the train, the hobo and the American past. This is old time foot stomping American blues played on accordion, acoustic guitar, banjo, piano and harmonica. My pick is “Hobo Heaven” a track full of feeling. Very good. –Graham Radley, Basic Soul and World Unlimited.

The Groanbox Boys’ recent release, Smokestack Trilogy, is a wonderful trip through American music, taking music from sixty and seventy years ago and putting a modern sheen to it. Throughout, the interplay between Ward-Bergman’s accordion and Seznec’s banjo is simply superb. Smokestack Trilogy has something special to offer fans of American Roots music. The Groanbox Boys touch on a variety of styles with this release and the results are outstanding. -Graham Clarke, Blues Bytes Magazine.

If somebody would have told me that I’d be having a ball listening to an accordion-banjo duo I wouldn’t have believed it! You guys are fabulous, creating a totally new and fresh sound. Interesting lyrics and strong vocals are also your advantages. “Smokestack Trilogy” is one hell of a roots music disc! It will be my pleasure to feature your music in my shows. I’m sure my listeners will enjoy it as much as I do! -Przemek Draheim, Radio Sfera, blues.pl/draheim.

Smokestack Trilogy is a fine musical journey! My wife and I were putting up a Christmas tree when I slipped it into the player. For the first couple of cuts we kept working away, exchanging glances every few seconds and then stopped working, sat down and just listened as hard as we could. My wife wants me to tell you that she was enthralled with your music. I think that pretty well sums up my first impression too. The way you guys put the arrangements together and the unusual mix of tonalities was so original and fresh. I kept saying to myself as I listened, “where in the world is this going? it’s not going to work”. But it always did work. The surprises just kept coming. I can tell you for sure that the CD will get a lot of play around here. I’ve got a collection of six or seven albums with guys playing banjos I’ve made. Yours means the most to me as it demonstrates how new energy and creativity can always be added to the mix of traditionally based music. Congratulations! –Bob Thornburg, renowned banjo maker, gourdbanjo.com.

Technically gifted players and masters of their material, the Groanbox Boys sing and play with an enviable spirit and a love of their traditions whether in folk songs, mountain songs, blues or rags. -Renato Belardinelli, accordions.com. Read the full review of Smokestack Trilogy on accordions.com.

Pure entertainment…One could close one’s eyes and be in the Mississippi Delta on an old fashioned paddle steamer…the Freedom Boot is an amazing piece of percussion…The tracks are well ordered, fluctuating between slow and melodic and fiery and furiously fast…They are crazy guys and this comes across on the CD. It is produced so well it almost seems as if they are in the room with you. -Helen Jones, from a 10 out of 10 review of Smokestack Trilogy that appeared in Blues in Britain.